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Attorney General Barr Says It's Clear - Social Media Platforms Are 'Engaged in Censorship'


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Attorney General William Barr weighed in Tuesday on the subject of free speech on social media, saying he believes social media platforms are "engaged in censorship," and are acting more like "publishers."

"Clearly, these, these entities are now engaged in censorship," he told Fox News' Bret Baier in an exclusive interview. He agreed that's true in cases where social media outlets are censoring the president and his supporters.

"And they originally held themselves out as open forums where people, where the third parties could come and express their views and they built up a tremendous network of eyeballs," Barr explained. 

"They had a lot of market power based on that presentation," the attorney general added. "And now they are acting much more like publishers because they're censoring particular viewpoints and putting their own content in there to diminish the impact of various people's views."

But in order for changes to be made to current law, it would require congressional action, according to Barr. 

As CBN News has reported, to some it may seem the conservative vs. social media war is just beginning, but it's been brewing for years.

Take conservative media mega house Prager University. Its videos have been viewed 3.4 billion times and counting, and nearly four million people follow the group on Facebook, but a recent Facebook notification handicapped the organization.

An outside fact checker late last month flagged one of Prager's one-minute videos.

The video exposes a widely viewed video of an emaciated polar bear as a deception promoted by climate change activists. 

Facebook called it fake news and to punish Prager it's limiting distribution of its posts in news feeds.

"What Facebook is doing - they're trying to keep their hands clean - and they're using these third-party fact-checkers to be the truth-tellers and determine what is true and what is not, so, unfortunately, it's very easy to weaponize this and to target organizations like us at Prager U," Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer at Prager, told CBN News.

President Trump also sounded the alarm about free speech recently, tweeting, "Republicans feel that social media platforms totally silence conservative voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down before we ever allow this to happen...clean up your act now!!!!"

Then Twitter posted a notice claiming the president violated its rules on "glorifying violence" flagging a tweet about the ongoing violent protests in Minneapolis.

The notice came after the platform added a fact check warning to two of his tweets about mail-in voting.  Trump responded by accusing the social media site of interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election that the platform "is completely stifling FREE SPEECH" and writing, "I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

He also signed an executive order that removes the liability shield social media companies currently enjoy because they're considered neutral platforms. Trump says they're anything but.

"When they choose to fact check and what they choose to ignore or even promote is nothing more than a political activism group or political activism and it's inappropriate," the president told reporters in the Oval Office after he signed the order.

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